Campers have learned and practiced the complete writing process this week from brainstorming ideas and storyboarding to drafting, revising and editing stories and poems. Today they began the "publishing" process by designing their book covers and tomorrow they will finish their book projects as they recopy or paste in text and illustrate their pages. We look forward to our "literary salon" celebration with parents and friends in the afternoon!
Today we took our second group of campers for a field trip to Hiller Aviation Museum. This is our first summer at Taft Community School in Redwood City and we have a great group of campers enrolled both from Taft and from other schools on the peninsula. Campers began the day devising questions they wanted to answer about flight, the history of flight and airplanes, and other topics related to engines, helicopters, women pilots and what makes planes fly. We asked each of them to research a "fun fact" to share with the group on our return. See the photos of our activities at the museum below.
In the afternoon campers continued drafting their "flight" stories by adding further complications to the plot and including dialogue. We shared our stories in progress with our small groups. Topics include skydiving, searching for lost parents on the moon, a spaceship with only 100 hours left of oxygen and many more imaginative plots.
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday raced by this week as campers wrote odes, shape poems, and animal riddles, developed their stories with complications to the plot and added dialogue, revised "wrecked" poems, and designed and "published" their books. Friday we had a wonderful "literary salon" celebration for an appreciative parent audience to listen to the campers stories and poems. Our first week of "Flight" launched beautifully! See more photos on the PHOTO page. A special thanks to the staff of Session One featured in photos below: Co-Teacher Martín Blank, Counselors Zachary Lo and Anna Paczuski, and CITs Lori Sibun-Handler and Yamini Prasad.
Today we took a field trip to Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos where campers learned about the history of flight beginning with John Montgomery and the Wright brothers to the first woman to fly solo around the world following Amelia Earhart's route. Here are some of the responses campers recorded in their notebooks about the visit:
--One thing I learned was about a woman who flew over the whole world.
--My favorite part of the field trip was going inside the helicopter simulator.
--My favorite thing about the field trip was building balsa wood airplanes.
--Today I learned the history of many planes such as the first plane ever.
Hopefully, campers will incorporate some of what they learned about flight and airplanes in the stories they are almost through drafting. . .
In our last writing camp session for the summer, we invited the therapy dogs to come one last time. Campers enjoyed quality bonding time with the dogs (big and small). Although the visit was a welcome break from the drafting process, we got right back to writing once the dogs left and wrote "Thank You Odes" about the dogs. This year's "Pet Parade" theme has inspired countless stories and brought much joy to campers and Peninsula Young Writers staff alike.
On the first day of Session 4, we kicked off the week's "Time Travel" theme with a time machine experience. Each camper received a ticket to travel back in time. Campers entered the time machine (bottom far right), received a time assignment, then exited with information about a certain time period.
Campers "arrived" deep into the age of Ancient Egypt, Rome, China, and Greece or into the more modern times of the American Revolution, World Wars and the 1920s. Later, these very same time periods appeared in their stories along with many other original time travel locations.
We had a visit from three different Pet-Assisted Therapy dogs and their owners on Thursday of Session 3. Although each dog ranged in size, breed and personality, all three of them brought joy and inspiration to the campers for their pet-themed stories. The dogs also listened with rapt attention as the campers read aloud stories and poems. One dog even performed tricks as a reward for a well-read piece of writing!
In accordance with our "Time Travel" theme, campers created old fashioned paper fortune-tellers. Making these fortune-tellers sent everyone into a frenzy of telling each others' fortunes, but poetry was not left behind that day (each fortune contained an alliteration).
On Wednesday, four dogs from the Pet Assisted Therapy Program at the Peninsula Humane Society visited camp. The campers read their stories aloud and the dogs listened attentively. Campers were also given the chance to pet the dogs and gain inspiration for their stories and poems. We're looking forward to Sessions 3 and 5 when the dogs will visit again.